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A Fitness Transformation: Interview with Raquel Koessler-Juricevic

A Fitness Transformation: Interview with Raquel Koessler-Juricevic

Here at Corpus Aesthetics, our aim is to motivate our readers and help them realize that they too can achieve an amazing fitness transformation. That is why, when we saw a fitness transformation post by Raquel Koessler-Juricevic in a Facebook group dedicated to fitness, we immediately wanted to learn more about her story and share it with our audience.

We’d like to thank her for taking the time to talk to us, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy reading this interview

1. We saw that you began your fitness transformation in your 40s – do you have any prior experience in fitness and sports? Are you a fitness professional now?

An example of fitness transformation

Prior to beginning of my fitness transformation, I had very little experience with fitness and sports. I started my fitness/health journey the day after my 44th birthday. For the first 7.5 months I concentrated on losing 70 lbs of fat on a nutrition program by Optavia. I loved the program so much that I became a certified Optavia health coach to help others get healthy.

About 5 months ago, after losing the 70 lbs, I shifted my health strategy to build more muscle and improve my fitness. I was a total beginner when it came to lifting weights or fitness training. We all start somewhere, and that was my beginning.

I am a not currently a fitness professional, but I have considered training to compete in fitness competitions. I did start to post my journey on Facebook in order to help encourage and inspire others that are where I was at the beginning of my journey. This evolved into personal and motivational posts. My main message is that you can start working towards your fitness goals at any age and no matter what shape you’re in. All you have to do is decide to make a change and take it one day at a time. I believe that dedication and consistency are choices you make for yourself one day at a time…one decision at a time. I also believe that we are all worth the effort… you are worth it.

2. How challenging was it to bounce back after pregnancy?

Transformation in weight loosing after pregnancy

I have two wonderful children. I had my first child at the age of 35, and it was very challenging to bounce back after pregnancy. I was overweight before I got pregnant. Because of my age, my first pregnancy was considered a high risk pregnancy.

To increase my chances of having a healthy pregnancy, I lost 40 lbs before getting pregnant. After that pregnancy I gained 50 lbs and found myself unable to get rid of that extra weight. I lost some weight but then yo-yoed back and forth. By the time I got pregnant with my second child at the age of 40, I was 180 lbs. I only gained 18 lbs for that entire pregnancy but, again, I was unable to lose this weight. I tried unsuccessfully for many years.

Finally, I gave up on myself and I stopped trying, exercising and watching what I was eating, and ballooned up to 210 lbs. I had promised myself that I would never weigh over 200lbs and broke that promise. I felt like I truly failed myself. This was just before my 44th birthday. My husband was the one who suggested I try the Optavia program. Once I started the program, it was like a switch was flipped and I was able to get in better shape than before having children.

3. What is your fitness routine? Can you share your average week with us?

A girl is having training at the gym

My fitness routine consists of working out five days a week. For the first 4 months I did a program called FYR 2.0 that my husband found for me on bodybuilding.com. Every day was a full body workout that switched between Tabata, body flow, and strength training. In this past month I switched up programs, also from the bodybuilding.com, called Garage Gains. It’s more focused on weight training and is designed for training at home with limited equipment.

I actually have very limited equipment, some dumbbells and exercise bands. On this program, I train a different body part each day (chest, back, legs, shoulders, and arms). Being a beginner in fitness, I made sure to start with weights I could handle.

The first couple months I used 5 lb sand 8 lbs dumbbells. Then, as my strength increased, I moved up to 8 and 10 lbs dumbbells. Now I’m up to 15 lbs dumbbells. I also do a 10-minute booty workout called 10-Minute Booty Burn that I found on YouTube. If you really want to get in shape you will find a way and use whatever you have at your disposal. I started with dumbbells and exercise bands. It doesn’t take much to get started!

4. Is there a diet you recommend? How about a diet you’d recommend against? 

An example of using Optavia Nutritional Program

Based on my personal experience, I highly recommend the Optavia nutritional program. It’s the program I used to lose 70lbs of fat and it’s the program I’m still on now that I’m weight training. You eat six times a day, five of which are provided for you. The sixth meal consists of fresh meats and veggies, and this is where you learn how to make healthy meals, one meal at a time. By following the plan your body is pushed into a fat burning state, which leaves you feeling full, satisfied, and energized.

Importantly, it’s a diet plan that helps you overcome many of the hurdles that stop people from following a diet plan. It is simple, convenient, clear, and easy to follow. The best diet plan in the world is worthless if you don’t follow it. Further, the Optavia program teaches you how to change your lifestyle so that you are educated about nutrition as you lose weight, and you’re able to maintain your weight loss for a lifetime. It has an amazing support system (direct support from your personal coach, weekly support calls and amazing nutrition support team) as well as educational materials.

I would recommend against any diet that is difficult to follow. We all have our own challenges. We all struggle with some things. If your diet requires a lot of meal prep, and you struggle with meal prep, then that’s a diet I would recommend against. If your diet requires counting calories, and you would rather do anything else than constantly weight your food, then that’s a diet I would recommend against. Be honest with where you struggle and choose a diet plan that enhances your strengths and minimizes your struggles.

5. People often sabotage themselves on their fitness journey, with laziness, pessimism, etc. What was, in your experience, the hardest obstacle to overcome?

A girl on a fitness journey

The hardest obstacle to overcome was being consistent, especially with meal prep. Every time I would start a new diet/nutrition plan, all the meal prep would trip me up eventually, and then I would give up! I would get all excited about starting something new and be completely dedicated in my mind. And I would be able to stick with it for a week or two.

But then, inevitably, other parts of life got in the way. I would get busy during the day, or I would be running late in the morning and forget to pack healthy foods, and then I’d make a bad decision and eat something unhealthy. I would then begin to lose my resolve because I already ruined my progress. This happened so often, simply because of the realities of day-to-day life raising a family. It got very disheartening and I eventually became disappointed and disillusioned with the process.

But what really helped me overcome this obstacle was finding the right nutrition plan, one that fit my life. Optavia was very easy and very convenient because they provided five of the six meals that you had to eat. And once I was able to stick with a diet plan, the weight loss that I experienced served as extra motivation. I lost 6 lb in my first week; that has never happened before! That initial success drove me to continue and it has fuelled me to want to do my best. I could see the path to the finish line, and I knew I could finally stay on that path. Identifying my struggles in meal prep, and then finding a solution that helped me overcome that obstacle was the turning point for me.

6. Does your fitness transformation inspire and motivate you in other areas of your life? Did you learn any lessons throughout your fitness journey that can be applied outside of fitness as well? 

A developing of self confidence after fitness and diet

My fitness transformation has completely changed my life! I have more energy for my children and enjoy playtime with them, and developed the confidence to start my own health coaching business. My fitness journey is a way of encouraging others. I previously hid in the background of family pictures, and now I put myself out there for the world to see! I feel much happier and much more confident. Friends have commented how I’ve changed and how much more positive I am about everything in my life. And the feedback from my fitness posts has been very touching. It is a great feeling when someone tells you that you’ve helped them, even if it was just a little encouragement to workout that day or make a healthy food choice.

The number one lesson I’ve learned throughout my fitness/health journey is to show grace to myself when I stumble. My journey was not a perfect one by any means, but every time I stumbled or made a bad decision I got back up and I continued. I reminded myself that I wasn’t starting from the beginning, rather I was starting from where I left off. That’s a huge difference in my mindset. This time I did not look at myself as a failure, I looked at myself as a work in progress. It was okay to fall down, because I knew this time I would get back up and continue on my journey. I could see that path, so I knew I could get back on when I eventually stumbled.

This lesson allowed me to start living my best life! And I love to help other that might be struggling to achieve their own fitness goals. We all struggle. It’s time stop condemning ourselves for falling and start celebrating that we get back up.

7. What do you have to say to any of our readers who may be doubting themselves and their capacity to have a fitness transformation?

A girl is thinking about training

It is never too late to pursue your health goals. We all start at the same place, the beginning. It starts with one step, one decision. And above all, know that you are worth it. You are worth the effort, and the time too.

8. Do you want to share your profiles on social media, your website, blog etc with us?

A young woman before and after fitness and diet

Yes!

These are my social media links below:

https://www.facebook.com/raquelraquel

instagram.com/raquel_living.my.best.life

twitter.com/RaquelJuricevic

9. Any final words? 🙂 

A young woman before and after using fitness and diet

Take your first step today. Do an actual physical action that begins your fitness journey. Even something a small as a web-search on diet plans can begin your transformation. Take action today. You are worth it.

 

 

 

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